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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at The Kershaw Team is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Why a Buyer's Agent Is Important

As a buyer, how can you be sure you are protected? That is where the concept of buyer’s agency comes in.

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I often hear buyers who are beginning the home search process express frustration about having to fill out forms just to look at a home. Many wonder why this is even needed.

The reason this is necessary, though, is because it’s the law. We are required by law to inform you of any buyers’ agencies and have you sign the related disclosures.

This disclosure is not a formal agreement. It is simply a way for us to let you know how we’re operating.

In years past, at a time when I had just bought my first three houses, there was only such a thing as a seller’s agency.

Whether you were to work with an agent for three days or three months trying to find the right home, that agent would always only be working in the seller’s best interest. Asking questions like what you should offer would only result in answers like, “The seller wants full price.”

In short, there was no use in trying to coerce the agent into putting your wants or needs first. There was very little help for buyers in general. In fact, it was often not until the point where you got your keys to the house that you could be sure everything had gone right with the deal.
We can guarantee you the best terms by negotiating on your behalf.
The concept of buyer’s agency came about in California in 1990. Since then, I have worked only for buyers and their best interests.

Buyer’s agents are beneficial in a number of ways. They can perform a market analysis, help you make a good offer, and will negotiate with your best interest in mind.

While buyer’s agents can’t guarantee the best price 100% of the time, we can always guarantee to get you the best terms for you by negotiating on your behalf.

So how do you pick an agent? First of all, you need to get along with them. On top of that, you should ask how many homes they’ve sold. Even agents with the same number of years of experience could have a vastly different rate of success.

Having an agent who has sold a large volume of homes, who knows how to handle contracts and paperwork, and who knows what they’re doing is critical.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

A Unique Opportunity for Practicing Attorneys

There are two new opportunities in our market for practicing attorneys. I’ve put together a special team, and there is a great loan program available for attorneys right now.

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As you may know, I used to work for local attorneys as a paralegal. In fact, I worked as a paralegal for 21 years, so all of you attorneys out there have a special spot in my heart.

Attorneys are always there when we need them the most, so we have put together a special team for you.

We have a group of real estate agents, loan officers, settlement attorneys, insurance agents, home stagers, and a designer all for your benefit. You can learn more about this special team here.

To sweeten the pot, there is a new loan program available for current, active attorneys. The only requirement is that you passed the bar.  
The only requirement for the loan is that you’ve passed the bar exam.
This program has no down payment, escrows, or PMI, allows gift payments, and gives you the chance to buy a single-family home, condo, or townhome—whatever you want!

This is really a very sweet opportunity, especially if you are in a bit of a cash flow crunch. For example, maybe you want to spend your money on a bigger office. This loan program allows you to do that and get into the home of your dreams.

If you have any questions about this loan program or are interested in buying a home, just give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Using Airbnb With Investment Properties

Buying an investment property to use as a short-term Airbnb rental is a new idea many people are exploring right now.

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There's a new concept out there in the world of real estate where people buy real estate as an investment by using it as an Airbnb rental. Airbnb essentially provides a home away from home you can rent when you travel or go on vacation.

My brother-in-law had a townhouse in Annapolis that he turned into an Airbnb, not knowing if it would work out. He hired a company to take care of the rental logistics and things like cleaning the house and sending him a check at the end of the month, and it worked out great. He's making enough money to cover all his expenses from the mortgages to the insurance and even the management fee. It's a great way to have someone else pay off your mortgage.

If you're thinking about buying an investment property—especially to turn it into an Airbnb—there are some key points you should consider. First, you have to consider the location and the zoning, and whether you're even allowed to use it for short-term rentals. That will probably rule out most homeowners associations and condos, which tend to have strict rules on what you can do with a property.

However, there are plenty of places in the D.C. area that don't have an HOA that would work perfectly for Airbnb. There definitely needs to be a management company in place to take care of everything; you don't want to get a call in the middle of the night saying the heat isn't working or that the sink is leaking. The management company will take care of all of that.
Are short-term rentals even allowed where you're looking to buy?
The third big thing to consider is your exit strategy. If the investment doesn't work out, what will you do? You want to make sure the property is in an area with good resale values in case you need to sell. You might also want the property to be in an area where it could be rented long-term for enough money to cover your monthly costs.

If you have any questions about using Airbnb as an investment, give me a call or send me an email. I'd be happy to help you out!